Red Sox Prospect Reset: Who Are Top Farmhands After Chris Sale Trade?

The Boston Red Sox are legitimate 2017 World Series contenders. They now boast one of the top pitching trios in Major League Baseball after acquiring Chris Sale and return nearly everyone (with David Ortiz the massive exception) from the best offense in the bigs last season.

But everything comes with a price, and in this case, that price is obvious.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski traded four prospects to the Chicago White Sox for Sale on Tuesday, including the No. 1 prospect in baseball (Yoan Moncada) and a 20-year-old with a 100 mph fastball (Michael Kopech). Earlier in the day, he parted with, among others, Mauricio Dubon, the Red Sox’s ninth-ranked prospect according to SoxProspects.com.

Then there’s this mind-boggling fact, from MassLive.com’s Jen McCaffrey: Since Dombrowski came to Boston in August 2015, he’s traded away 17 prospects in eight total deals. That’s almost one per month.

That begs the question: What’s left in the Red Sox’s farm system? Here’s an updated look at the team’s top 20 prospects after Tuesday’s whirlwind (rankings courtesy of SoxProspects.com) and a breakdown of its remaining pitchers and hitters.

1. Andrew Benintendi, OF
2. Rafael Devers, 3B
3. Jason Groome, P
4. Sam Travis, 1B
5. Brian Johnson, P
6. Marco Hernandez, 3B/SS/2B
7. Bobby Dalbec, 3B
8. CJ Chatham, SS
9. Josh Ockimey, 1B
10. Michael Chavis, 3B
11. Nick Longhi, 1B
12. Roniel Raudes, P
13. Trey Ball, P
14. Luis Ysla, P
15. Mike Shawaryn, P
16. Kyle Martin, P
17. Travis Lakins, P
18. Shaun Anderson, P
19. Jake Cosart, P
20. Chandler Shepard, P

VERDICT: PITCHERS
In a system that once boasted Kopech, Anderson Espinoza and Logan Allen, Boston’s top pitching prospects now are an unproven 18-year-old (Groome) and a 26-year-old who’s pitched in just one major league game (Johnson). Ball, the team’s seventh overall pick in 2013, hasn’t panned out to date, and this list doesn’t even include Henry Owens, who no longer qualifies for prospect status but hasn’t really been a factor in the majors.

VERDICT: HITTERS
The bright spot here is Devers. A 20-year-old left-handed bat, the Dominican Republic native has shot up to MLB.com’s 16th-rated prospect after being ranked 99th in 2015. His presence somewhat softens the blow of losing Moncada. The 6-foot, 205-pound Travis also is a strong first base prospect, but outfield depth is extremely thin with Benintendi in the bigs and Luis Basabe dealt in the Sale trade.

BOTTOM LINE
To put it bluntly, the cupboard is pretty bare. But Dombrowski made clear his intention is to win now, and he used Boston’s stockpile of prospects to put the Red Sox in that position. The distant future is hazy, but with recent graduates like Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. realizing their potential, Boston should be in good shape for at least a few years.

Why Chris Sale trade was a win-win for Boston, Chicago >>

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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